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Rogers Readies for Campbell, MNF


Carlos Rogers has been trading text messages with Jason Campbell all week. Don't worry, the back-and-forth has been good natured between the former college and professional teammates.

However, the tenor of the conversation perhaps took more of a competitive turn as of Friday afternoon with the announcement of the veteran quarterback getting the start for the Chicago Bears this Monday night.

For now, the friendship will be on hold when the Bears visit San Francisco for a crucial NFC showdown with potential playoff seeding implications.

With starter Jay Cutler ruled out due to a concussion, the Bears will rely on their free agent addition Campbell to beat the 49ers in San Francisco for the first time since 1985.

Rogers knows Campbell extremely well from their time together at Auburn University and next with the Washington Redskins. With that in mind, Rogers feels like he'll be facing a very similar player to Cutler, the quarterback who is 6-1 in his Monday night appearances, his only defeat coming to the 49ers in 2009.

"I think both of them have the ability to throw any throw on the field," said Rogers, San Francisco's Pro Bowl cornerback who lines up on slot receivers in multi-receiver sets. "We know what Cutler can do, I played with J (Campbell) for a while – I know what he can do. We're going to look at it no different. They both can throw the ball, both can scramble."

So while outsiders might look at the situation as challenging to the 49ers defense, that's to the contrary according to Rogers.

"As a defense, it's easy to prepare for those guys when we're looking at them the same way," the cornerback stressed.

"They're both tough, can make any throw on the field. They can both stand in the pocket."

The only major difference in Rogers' mind is Cutler's experience in Chicago's offense. Campbell, however, will be making his 71st career start.

Rogers admitted he's looking forward to the challenge of matching up with a close friend.

He also expects his old teammate to take chances regardless of where Rogers lines up.

"I know if Jason sees me out there," Rogers began, "especially if he sees a safety single high (and us) one-on-one, I know he's coming at me. And vice-versa. I'm looking forward to the challenge 100-percent."

Rogers faced one of the quickest slot wide receivers in the NFL last week in Rams wideout Danny Amendola. Rogers credited the young wide receiver for being quick off the ball. The experience will only help Rogers as he prepares for Chicago's talented wideouts, a group that includes converted cornerback Devin Hester in the slot role.

In addition to the speedster who has shattered the NFL's return for touchdown records, Rogers anticipates a heavy dose of No. 1 wideout Brandon Marshall.

The new addition to Chicago's offense has been one of the league's most consistent performers in 2012 and has been on a hot streak as of late.

In the past six games he's played, Marshall has 51 catches for 690 yards with six touchdown receptions.

"He's their main guy," Rogers summed up. "Anytime you have a guy that's targeted, 11, 12, probably more times a game, they're going to make their plays. We have to do a better job and try and shut down him.

"We know he's going to make plays, but we have to be in position to make more plays than he makes."

The 49ers have improved in pass defense in their second season under defensive coordinator Vic Fangio. The unit ranks fifth in the NFL, allowing 196.8 yards per game, but will be tested this week against one of the NFL's top perimeter difference-makers.

Rogers might know Campbell better than most quarterbacks he'll face this season, but the goal is still the same: Win.

"It doesn't give me an advantage," Rogers reiterated. "He's got an offense he's got to run and we've got a defense we've got to run. It's not like we're sitting out here, one-on-one, going against each other. He'll have his mind focused on our whole defense, not just me."


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